Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I am always reluctant to make resolutions when it comes to New Years promises mainly because I don't want to dissapoint myself and fall short. However I do always have a running list of my decorating goals. The main problem is they change like the wind and the list becomes longer and longer as the year progresses. Yes I am one to get easily distracted by items I find a long the way. If I put these things down in writing will I be more likely to get them done? Only time will tell. So with that here is my 2009 list/s.

Finish List (projects I have already begun but have yet to put the finishing touches on them)

1. Nolan's room

2. Connor's room

3. Dining room

4. new rug for study

5. entrance way

6. Hang my new artwork in the family room!

Decor Projects not yet started

1. bonus room

2. wood floors for upstairs

3. front porch decor

4. Emmersyn's bathroom

There is the short and long of it! I wish each and every one of you a New Year full of hope, health, dreams and completed goals. Happy 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

All Dogs Go To Heaven But They Stop At My Home First

At least in the decor sense they do! My wonderful hubby and kids gave me three wonderful gifts for Christmas this year. One my favrorite lotion and cologne, Philosophy Amazing Grace and Pure Grace. Two my dining room window panels (I call to order tomorrow) and third the doggy prints I have been eyeing for about the past 4-6 months. Maybe because we are such animal lovers in this home but can't have any REAL animals due to our severe allergies we just make due with animal prints, pillows, statues and other small fun whimsical items. Who knows. What ever the case I can't wait to get my Christmas decor down and my new goodies up! Until that happens (usually January 1st around here) I will dream and plan out some new details for the home. Nothing new there!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Gratefful Friend

That is me. Recently a neighbor and friend of mine and her family decided to pack up their home here in North Carolina and move back to their former home in Florida. She packed up a lovely home here and is venturing into a completely different style down in her Florida home. Much to my surprise when I went to say my "see you soon's and laters" (never good byes) she bestowed upon me two lovely topiaries and two lovely antique botanical fruit prints. I love both and can't wait to find the perfect place in my home for them. I already am pretty sure the dining room will be home to the prints. I am going to try out the fireplace mantel once all the Christmas decor is down for the topiaries (keeping my fingers crossed as they are quite large). What a pleasant surprise this was and a real treat. I will miss her giving and kind heart on a daily basis but know she is never more than a phone call away.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Graduating From The Kiddy Table, Big Kids Table, Zimbabwe and Bunteteller

My fifteen year old is thrilled to have graduated to the adult table this Christmas. I really have no idea why this is such a big deal. Our family has pretty much always sat together on Christmas unless we were at my mother in laws or friends. Perhaps it is because this year we actually have a kiddy table due to the way the numbers played out with our guests. At any rate he is much relieved that he and his friend, who will be joining us, do not have to be part of the kiddy table. I on the other hand think it would be rather fun to sit at the kiddy table. Here are some pictures of our kiddy table. I found these fun "gingerbread cookie" ornaments in the shape of letters. I am using each one to adorn a mixture of checks and plaids and Christmas print napkins. Instead of place cards each child will be able to find his or her seat by finding their first initial. Chocolate Santa's stand at attention near each green swirled glass. Polka dot salad plates help to continue the fun. A snowman holding two peppermint candies, which are actually salt and pepper shakers, sits ready near a ornament filled box. How fun!

I have set our "Big Kids" table as well and am sharing some pictures, I will tell you it is all Barb's fault (Grits and Glamour) that I have holly berries in my arrangement. Although not quite as "nutty" as Barb I did take an early morning sojourn into the yard to scavenge these off my holly bushes. I also discovered something evidenced by the rash all over my hands and wrists. I am allergic to holly bushes! But they did add just the right touch to my arrangement so thanks Barb!

One of my tennis coaches is from Zimbabwe. Her sister is here visiting and brought with her many handmade items from her country and also made by her. She had an open house and I went and purchased the angel place card holders. I know the turmoil in her country and hope her sister is safe once she returns.

Last I wanted to share a tradition introduced to me by my husbands family. He himself is a first generation American. His parents immigrated here in 1950 from Germany. They are a proud people when it comes to their heritage. Each year no matter how many people came to Christmas, my mother in law would provide a "Bunteteller". In German this means "bright plate". On the plate there can be a variety of things. Almost like the American version of the stocking. German candies and treats, small special little decorative items and anything your heart so desires. Now we are living across the country from both our families. One thing we have done is carry on the tradition of Bunteteller. Tomorrow night each guest will receive their Bunteteller to help them celebrate the season, feel part of our family and maybe remember some of their own traditions. When going to others homes on Christmas we always wonder what we can bring. A gift? Some food? What? I thought too late about what a nice thing it would have been to have each guest or family bring their special tradition. Our guests will include someone raised in Puerto Rico. Someone Irish. Someone Scottish. A Child adopted recently from China. What a true gift to share in their traditions! So my friends, my message to you this season is embrace your family the good and not so good. Embrace your friends. Remember the reason we celebrate this most special time. Lastly remember your traditions. Those are the things that have shaped us and made us who we are. Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Joyeux Noel!

Back to the world of computers and blogs. My computer is up and running again. Good yes but may possibly be bad. My first visit online was to one of my favorite catalog/store sites. A yummy browse through Pierre Deux. Minutes in I find some wonderful ornaments that scream french country. Oh I want them! I want to display them year round. The agony of decision. Do I buy them now or wait until after Christmas to see if they go on sale. Decisions decisions! I will sleep on it. While visions of colorful glass ornaments dance through my head! Oh it is good to be back!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just When We Get Started.......

My computer crashes. Can I cry on y'alls shoulder? Yesterday my day started out early. Up at 5AM and out the door at 6AM. Daughter and I loaded in the car on our way to Richmond, VA for her cheer competition. Two more quick stops to pick up our carpooling buddies and off we go. Four screaming girls and three moms desperately looking for a Starbucks drive through. No worries we are in the capable hands of "Maggie" my new GPS system. Under the spell of Josh Groban, Jewel, Faith Hill and Sheryl Crow (who I discovered should really not have made a Christmas CD because the gal can't sing, sorry Sheryl) and four tweens screaming out their rendition of O'Holy night we are off. We navigate the I86 cooridoor with ease and on to the I95. We arrive in record time. Into the Richmond Convention Center to a throng of screaming girls in belly baring tops and skirts that are too short. Glittery makeup and enough hair spray to send the entire Southern region of the US into stage 5 global warming. I think we will need more Starbucks to get through this one! 6 hours later and a first place trophy in hand we are on our journey home. One quick stop for petrol and a Mc D's drive through. Maggie is navigating us onto our destination. Things quiet down to a low verbal back drop of "AquaMarine" playing on the DVD player. Then we decide to listen to it in French even though we don't speak a word. Bon Jour! Let me mention I think this is really where my migraine started. So mid way through the I85 my newer model SUV decides to STOP. STOPS COLD. We coast to the shoulder. Three moms with a blank deer in the headlights look upon their faces. My shotgun rider phones her DH. I phone mine. Voicemail. We sit 5 minutes.....10 minutes. Daughter starts to whimper and her voice is quivering. I decide I am going to try to start it again. TA-DA! Fires right up. Do we dare pull out and start on the journey again? DH calls back. I 10-4 him the situation. He announces in no uncertain terms that it is "either the alternator or the electric system". "But it is running don't you think I should keep driving?" We are instructed by the fources that be (three husbands on cell phones who know exactly what is wrong with the SUV) to get to the first exit we find. So we did and as we made that left turn off the HWY the car dies again. Two hours from home. Eight of us waiting in the cold for two cars to come pick us all up. Now the migraine is in full force. We did all make it home safely. I log on to find that my computer had crashed. I type this from hubbys. So needless to say I may not be blogging for a few days. Stay tuned...........

Friday, December 5, 2008

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

Dew drops on roses and mittens on kittens. Whimsical dog face portraits , I'm smitten. Plaid on my windows and on a mans thighs. These are the things that can make me go "sigh". Jacobean prints all over the place, but really I am not one for the lace. Transferware plates, especially in blue, harlequin patterns, I must have these too! When the clock strikes where the mind goes when I've not much to do, I think of these things with a smile on my face, and oh what I plan to do! French country touches with a bit of whimsy, stop with the toile your creating a frenzy! Traditional touches all over the place, don't make it stuffy but lets keep the grace. Oh for a chandelier dripping with light, these are the things that I dream of at night. My husband says "stop spending" and I do for awhile, until I see that lamp with such style! Yes I could go on, I have many passions, decortating my home, for me, always in fashion.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mad For Plaid!

For some time I have been working on finishing my formal dining room. It is the last room downstairs for me to tackle. I have always been a sucker for toile and that was an easy decision for me to make when choosing a wallpaper. That was well over one year ago! So although the wallpaper went up with ease, life got busy and the project came to a stop. I had planned on going for the "All Toile" theme but discovered when I started the project again that the "matching" toile designated to go with the wallpaper in fabric form...well it didn't match at all. So began the now 3 month search for the perfect fabrics to go in the room. I have battled it out, at one point even deciding to put up a different wallpaper and go with a totally different color scheme! I came to my senses thanks to a couple of dear decorating friends who "talked me down from the suicidal wall paper moment". So yes there is a point to me telling you all this. Yesterday after a 3 hour adventure in a new fabric place , I think I have picked a favorite. Not to my surprise it is PLAID. Somehow I always choose plaid. I have a secret love affair with plaid. Maybe it harks back to my wee bit of Scottish heritage, I am not sure ,but the affair began early in life. Oh yes you can be sure I envied all those Catholic girl uniforms from afar in my blue jean and polo shirted clad self. Thank goodness plaid became popular in that preppy fad fazed 80's decade. I owned and wore them all. Traditional tartans to hot pink and lime green plaid Bermuda's. The first sofa my husband and I ever purchased was a plaid in red and gold. Some times I wish I still owned it. Even now I have touches of plaid through out my home. So it is not too surprising that the fabric I am currently in love with for my dining room windows is ....yes PLAID!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December Has Arrived

So I thought I would jump right in with some Christmas decorating. We started off bright and early on black Friday planning to be done by Sunday with all our decorating. The real question I should have asked myself is if I am really ever done with "all that decorating". Life with a family of 5 is never predictable and so although we started out with a bang and fast pace, things quickly came to a hault. I am happy to say that the mantel, family room tree, entrance tree and outside was completed. Oh yes and of course we were able to get the "little tree" up in daughters room for her viewing pleasure. Our holiday parties have taken off full throttle and so I am slowly working on the other rooms. Big plans for being done by this weekend. One can always hope!

Hello friends!

Here it is the first post on my new blog. Yes I caved! After much prompting from my computer saavy friends I have decided to give it a whirl. Thus remained the giant question "What to Blog on?". So after much contemplation I turned to one of my greatest passions DECORATING. So come on in and join me on my journey as I create a haven for family and friends of timeless elegance mixed with tradition and french country and of course it must always contain a touch of whimsy.